Media Release: “With the right help we can all get to the finish line." – Survivor of abuse calls for support for Women's Aid.

13 Sep 2018



  • Domestic violence survivor Jessica Bowes joins Bláthnaid Treacy for this year’s Women’s Aid Purple Run 5K 
  • Jessica Bowes, whose ex-partner was recently released from prison for a vicious assault against her, is urging people to help raise funds for the charity’s 24hr National Freephone Helpline.
  • First ever Women’s Aid Purple Run 5K takes place on September 25th in Dublin.

Thursday 13th September 2018: Women’s Aid, the national charity supporting women and children affected by domestic violence in Ireland today launches its first ever Purple Run 5K to raise much needed funds for the 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 and its other vital services. The event will take place on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 7.30pm on Sandymount Strand, Dublin 4 (Sean Moore Park end). Women’s Aid responds to, on average, 50 calls a day on its 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341900 from women experiencing emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse from their partners, husbands and boyfriends.

Gillian Dennehy, Services Manager at Women’s Aid outlines the type of abuse women are experiencing:

“The statistics Women’s Aid present are shocking and stark and behind each one is a story of pain, suffering and resilience. Every day women tell us they are being verbally abused, being threatened with violence, being stalked both online and in person. Women tell us about being locked out of their homes overnight with their children. Women are living in fear for their lives because they are being threatened with knives, guns and abusive partners and exes are threatening to kill them, their children and their families. We also hear from women who were hospitalised as a result of domestic violence. Women whose partners or exes have strangled them until they were unconscious and women who were smothered. Women are also physically abused during their pregnancy with a number disclosing that they had had a miscarriage because of the abuse. Domestic violence is the deepest betrayal of trust within an intimate relationship.”

Jessica Bowes, a young Dublin mother of three children and survivor of domestic abuse, whose ex-partner was recently released from prison for a vicious assault against her, is supporting the charity and is calling for others to do the same.

Jessica says:

“On September 25th I’m going to try to attempt my first 5k. I have signed up for the Women’s Aid Purple Run 5K. I want to do the run for lots of reasons and I want to help raise much needed funds for this amazing organisation who have been so amazing in supporting myself and my children. I’ve made so many friends on my journey. Since I spoke out on Prime Time in February this year, lots of women have reached out to me and some of them are coming to run with me on the day. I’m really looking forward to meeting them . The run for me represents where so many women are on their own journeys escaping domestic violence. Some women can run others can’t but with the right people supporting you we can all get to the finish line!”

Bláthnaid Treacy, RTÉ TV and Radio Presenter has signed up to do the run on September 25th and says:

“I am supporting the Women's Aid Purple Run because the service they offer is to an incredible standard, they help women and children through heart breaking circumstances at times when they feel they have run out of options. They are a non-judgemental service who just want to help keep vulnerable people safe from domestic violence. They rely heavily on donations and these donations in turn keep services like their 24 hour line open and help put their staff and volunteers through training so that they can act quickly and safely to ensuring a woman and her family are supported during a potential life threatening situation. The Purple Run is a great way to raise these much needed funds and will be a really positive day out. Come and join us in supporting this amazing service.”

Ms Dennehy adds:

“We need the walkers, the talkers, runners and joggers to show their support for women and children experiencing abuse to join us on September 25th for a fantastic evening on Sandymount Strand. Walk, Jog, Run the Women’s Aid 5K Purple Run on Sandymount Strand on 25th September and help women like Jessica be safe in their homes and relationships. One in five women experience some form of domestic violence in Ireland and Women’s Aid is here to listen, believe and support women every day on our 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900. Sign up for the Women’s Aid Purple Run today to support Women’s Aid and help keep the national helpline open all day, every day.

The run takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 7.30pm at Sandymount Strand, Dublin 4 (Sean Moore Park end) and supporters can sign up at for €25 per person (includes free t-shirt and raffle entry).


For more information please contact Christina Sherlock at or by mobile on 0879192457.

Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900

Notes to editor/producer:

  • Launch photos have been sent to photo desks. Also available from Paul Sharp, Sharppix on
  • Jessica’s testimony can be read in full here: and her Prime Time interview is available here:
  • Details of the Women’s Aid Purple Run 5K can be found at
  • Women's Aid is the national organisation providing support and information to women experiencing domestic violence through its Direct Services. It runs the only free, national, domestic violence 24hr helpline (1800 341 900, 24 hours, 7 days) with specialised trained staff & volunteers, accredited by the Helplines Partnership and with a Telephone Interpretation Service covering 170 languages for callers needing interpreting services as well as a Text Service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing women. Women's Aid also offers a Dublin-based One to One Support Service and Court Accompaniment Service and runs the Dolphin House Support and Referral Service in the Dublin District Family Law Court (in partnership with Dublin 12 Domestic Violence Service and Inchicore Outreach Centre.)
  • Women’s Aid Impact Report 2017 details 21,451 contacts with Women’s Aid Direct Services including the 24hr National Freephone Helpline and Dublin based One to One Support Services.
  • During these contacts 15,833 disclosures of domestic violence against women were noted. There were an additional 3,552 disclosures of child abuse made (19,385 in total).
  • The Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline responded to 18,187 calls in 2017.
  • Bláthnaid Treacy has been on our screens from just three months old, when she played Biddy and Miley’s eldest daughter, Denise Byrne on Glenroe, for thirteen years. From then she has gone on to present the IFTA nominated travel show ‘Ó Tholg Go Tolg’ for TG4, she spent four years cutting her teeth on the live magazine TV show ‘Two Tube’ on RTÉ2. Bláthnaid had her first ten part fashion show aired on TG4 “Gléasta Chun Féasta” in the Autumn of 2017 and has joined the ‘Dancing With The Stars’ family, with her own preview show “Can’t Stop Dancing”, on RTÉ One, Friday 8.30pm. You can also hear Bláthnaid take over the national air waves on RTÉ 2FM where she counts down the top thirty songs on the bilingual National Chart Show.